Another week where my training has ventured away from my more familiar Lincoln streets, with a work trip to Birmingham adding this week's variation. I have enjoyed the mixture of locations in the first quarter of my training - it keeps it interesting - although I will admit I was a little anxious about finding routes I felt comfortable running in the dark in an unknown city. I made it work though, and my 'Brum' runs have added to a good week.
MONDAY: looking ahead to the fact I would be away for three days this week, I wanted to bank a run on home Lincoln soil to relieve some of the pressure whilst I was away. My legs felt tired from Sunday's long run efforts, so I knew I would only manage an easier run, and I also gave my limbs some extra recovery by running in the evening and not before work - every little helps! I chose the steady 7 miles I had on my plan, winding around Lincoln streets just letting my legs tick over, finishing in time for a Body Pump class.
TUESDAY: Rest Day - the start of my trip away, and with travelling commencing at 6.30am and the first day of the course I was attending due to finish at 7pm, I knew running was not going to be viable.
WEDNESDAY: the feeling of fear before a run is not a nice sensation, and to be honest I am not sure what I was really scared of as I headed out for an early morning run in Birmingham - the unknown I guess. I had plotted a 2 mile loop which started from the lodge I was staying in and followed a few busier, well lit roads, before ending back at the lodge. With 7 miles on my plan I knew I would need to run this loop 3.5 times. The repeated nature of the route would add to the mental challenge, but I felt happy and safe to be able to enjoy my running, and that was the main thing. I ran alternating miles, 1 mile easy followed by 1 mile hard; however what I did not realise when I plotted my loop was the fact it included two long gradual hills, which I would of course run repeatedly - the joys! By the end my legs were tiring on the hills, especially as both seemed to fall on fast miles, but it felt good training.
THURSDAY: still in Birmingham I ran my little loop again - this time I had 6 miles on my plan, so only the 3 loops at least..! Intervals were not ideal on the hilly nature of the terrain, but I gave it my best shot, running 6 miles with 5 x 1000m reps and 200m recoveries. Pace wise I just ran the intervals with as much effort as possible, and my paces were indeed quite varied ranging from 6.55 min/mile to 8.03 min/mile; basically depending if I was on a hill or not!
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: last week I was disappointed with my run at Lincoln parkrun, however by contrast, this week I was really pleased with my performance. I started controlled, helped by a runner friend I have made who, when he is there, tries to rein me back in before I bolt optimistically away in the early stages! My pacing consistency showed with all my miles logging just under 7 min/mile pace, and when it came to the final mile I felt really strong and could push for the finish. I finished in 21:06, but felt I had more to give; maybe that sub 21 is in reach again soon.
SUNDAY: a cold crisp morning and a chance for me to try something new on my long run. I had 14 miles on my plan; 7 of which were to be steady, with 7 harder miles to finish. I paced badly, but it actually turned out to be a very good run. For the first 7 mile I aimed for 8.30 min/mile pace, set off and felt as though I was steadily moving. I actually thought my watch as wrong when I caught the odd split tick over; I was running more like 8-8.20 min/mile pace. Despite running faster than planned, when the point came to up the pace I felt ready, and whilst before setting out I was hoping to be able to hold 8 min/mile at this point, I was now logging sub 8 min/mile splits. My final 7 miles actually were 7.46, 7.44, 7.53, 7.50, 7.38, 7.21 and 7.39 min/mile splits respectively. I have never attempted a longer run like this before, and I did have to focus quite hard to keep that pace at times towards the end, but I am pleased with how I managed the challenge and to finish with a 7.58 min/mile average overall (see image). A Lincoln week beckons next week and hopefully a little less running of loops!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...